Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Well,  I guess this completes the trilogy of terror that began with TILT (1995),  resumed much later with THE DRIFT (2006), and concludes with this release.  All of them have felt like distant relatives of "song",  and have created vast ambiguous spaces within which text and sound meld into scenes of corpulent dread,  black humor,  and failure.  The human condition is treated as  bodily poetry here,  as arms,  legs, cliched put-downs,  and impolite noises fleck these spaces.  Strangely enough,  it is this preoccupation with the body that makes BISH BOSCH the most approachable of the trilogy.  The cover art is the only one of the three to readily suggest a human presence,  with its stark gestural painting and expressive trail of drips.  As per Scott's methodology,  historical figures and events dot the landscape as doors into lives built on contradiction, betrayal,  and confrontation (see the epic "SDDSS1416+13B (Zercon the Flagpole Sitter)" and "The Day the Conductor Died",  the former concerning a comedic Moorish dwarf in the court of Attila the Hun,  the latter an invitation to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu to talk about his world). It is so easy to see ourselves in the musings contained in the latter:
                                             I am nurturant,  compassionate,

                                             O Not so much,
                                             O Very much.

It's an uneasy truth,  but one that suggests our humanity in all manner of ambiguity, indecision, and self.  Yes,  the angels and the devils are always us,  and Scott gives form to that solipsism.  BISH BOSCH's artistry is also in the sounds and smears that confront,  not illustrate.  I see illustration as a redundancy,  while poetry is about clashes,  obstructions,  and transgressions,  maybe even small illuminations.   They are our stumbles into light and shadow.  Those stumbles are accompanied by a jittery flux of sound and silence,  produced by traditional (guitar,  bass,  orchestra)  and non-traditional (machetes,  bodily sounds) means.  It is this constant movement and change that makes the tracks here so un-graspable and frustrating,  but ultimately so satisfying as an experience.  Again,  this is us and Scott, well beyond "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore", stranded in our world of choices and contrasts.




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